Frequently Asked Questions

Who can qualify for a DMSF Scholarship?

Any Chicago 8th grade student who has shown academic potential, strong character and financial need. In order to apply a student must live in Chicago or surrounding communities which do not have strong public high school systems.

When are applications available, and from where can I obtain one?

Applications are available at the beginning of August each year. Sample applications are mailed to many Chicago area elementary schools and community organizations. You can download one from our website (check under Becoming a DMSF Scholar).

When are applications due?

This year, the application is due on Friday, October 25, 2013. It must be post-marked by this date or hand-delivered to the DMSF office by this date. Applications that are late may be disqualified.

Are applications available in languages other than English?

Sorry, no. But we usually do hold an informational session in Spanish.

How does an applicant demonstrate financial need?

The DMSF application requires families to provide a lot of financial information to DMSF. Applicants’ families must also submit proof of income, such as income tax forms.

How many scholarships does DMSF award each year?

There are between 75 and 100 Scholars in each of DMSF’s current classes of Scholars. The precise number of scholarships to be offered varies from year to year

What occurs after DMSF receives an application?

The application process involves a number of steps:

  • Each application is first opened to make sure it is complete.
  • All completed applications are read in early November. Each one is read by at least two people.
  • A small percentage of applicants and their parents/guardians – usually no more than 225 – will be invited to
  • ne call. Don’t worry — WE WILL FIND YOU.
  • Both the applicant and his/her parents or guardians will be interviewed separately by several panels of interviewers.
  • Finalists will be told of their status within two weeks of their interview.
  • Applicants who are not called in for an interview will receive a letter from us in early March.

If I am selected, will I automatically receive financial aid?

No. Students selected to receive a scholarship must still:

  • Apply and get admitted to a DMSF partnership high school
  • Register at that school, complete its financial aid process and be awarded financial aid by the school.
  • Provide evidence of all of this to DMSF.
  • come to DMSF’s office for an interview. Interviews are conducted between November and February. Finalists will hear from us approximately ten days before the interview date. This is done by email, letter and/or pho
  • Participate in DMSF’s summer workshops.
  • Sign a DMSF scholarship contract and provide any additional financial information requested by DMSF.

Can the scholarship be used at any school?

No. DMSF has partnership arrangements with approximately 70 different schools, including 40 day schools and 30 boarding schools. The scholarship covers a portion of the tuition at these schools only. For some students, the scholarship is offered only if they attend a specific school or schools.

Does a Scholar’s family have any financial obligations?

Yes. Every family has to contribute something toward the cost of its child’s education. The amount varies, but most families pay between $1000 and $2500 per school year.